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CART: Herta Grabs Portland Pole; Tracy Suspended

20 June 1998

By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel

Bryan Herta
PORTLAND, OR: Bryan Herta has captured the pole for the Budweiser-G.I. Joe's 200 CART Fed Ex Championship race to be held at Portland on Sunday. Herta had a top speed of 121.341 mph in his Ford powered Reynard. Dario Franchitti, who was fastest in the first round of qualifying, fell to the second starting position for Sunday's race. Franchitti had a top speed of 121.156 mph.

Paul Tracy, who was 12th fastest in the opening round of qualifying on Friday, fell to 20th on the starting grid when qualifying resumed on Saturday. Tracy was banned from competition in the second day of qualifying for taking an "unjustifiable risk". Tracy was already on probation when he tangled with Michele Jourdain during the Friday Practice session. Chief Steward, Wally Dallenbach, reviewed the tapes. Dallenbach made the final decision to suspend Tracy from qualifying on Saturday, but will be allowed to race on Sunday.

"The accident was preventable and should not have happened on an out lap for both race cars," Dallenbach said.

Tracy commented, "I'm going to drive the way I know how to drive, drive the way that's gotten me 13 wins in my career. I was trying to get by him and he got on the brakes earlier than I thought, and I hit his back wheels with my front wheels. It's one of those things that happens."

"I wouldn't say I was angry. I was disappointed because I want to qualify,'' Tracy continued. "I feel I could qualify in the front row."

The complete lineup for Sunday's race follows with starting position, (car number), driver, hometown/country, chassis-engine, time, and speed in mph:

1. (8) Bryan Herta, New Albany, Ohio, Reynard Ford, 58.358 sec., 121.341 mph
2. (27) Dario Franchitti, Scotland, Reynard Honda, 58.447, 121.156.
3. (20) Scott Pruett, Granite Bay, Calif., Reynard Ford, 58.645, 120.747.
4. (12) Jimmy Vasser, Las Vegas, Reynard Honda, 58.657, 120.722.
5. (1) Alex Zanardi, Italy, Reynard Honda, 58.883, 120.259.
6. (40) Adrian Fernandez, Mexico., Reynard Ford, 58.901, 120.222.
7. (11) Christian Fittipaldi, Brazil, Swift Ford, 58.939, 120.145.
8. (7) Bobby Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, Reynard Ford, 59.118, 119.781.
9. (5) Gil de Ferran, Brazil, Reynard Honda, 59.145, 119.726.
10. (6) Michael Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., Swift Ford, 59.188, 119.639.
11. (33) Patrick Carpentier, Canada, Reynard Mercedes, 59.227, 119.560.
12. (21) Tony Kanaan, Brazil, Reynard Honda, 59.301, 119.411.
13. (19) Michel Jourdain Jr., Mexico, Reynard Ford, 59.306, 119.401.
14. (99) Greg Moore, Canada, Reynard Mercedes, 59.346, 119.321.
15. (17) Mauricio Gugelmin, Brazil, Reynard Mercedes, 59.401, 119.210.
16. (18) Mark Blundell, England, Reynard Mercedes, 59.435, 119.142.
17. (3) Andre Ribeiro, Brazil, Penske Mercedes, 59.508, 118.996.
18. (2) Al Unser Jr., Albuquerque, N.M., Penske Mercedes, 59.513, 118.986.
19. (16) Helio Castro-Neves, Brazil, Reynard Mercedes, 59.598, 118.816.
20. (26) Paul Tracy, Canada, Reynard Honda, 59.630, 118.752.
21. (24) Robby Gordon, Orange, Calif., Reynard Toyota, 59.719, 118.575.
22. (25) Max Papis, Italy, Reynard Toyota, 59.881, 118.255.
23. (10) Richie Hearn, Henderson, Nev., Swift Ford, 59.954, 118.111.
24. (9) J.J. Lehto, Finland, Reynard Mercedes, 60.267, 117.497.
25. (77) Arnd Meier, Germany, Lola Ford, 60.607, 116.838.
26. (98) P.J. Jones, Scottsdale, Ariz., Reynard Toyota, 61.004, 116.078.
27. (36) Alex Barron, Vista, Calif., Reynard Toyota, 61.416, 115.299.
28. (34) Dennis Vitolo, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Reynard Ford, 62.975, 112.445.

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